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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 00-52




Fee Schedule/Procedure for Family Support Lien/Judgment Certifications; Administrative Regulation No. 99-10

[30 Pa.B. 198]

   Effective thirty (30) days from publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, Whereas: (1) the Pennsylvania Legislature has amended 23 Pa.C.S. § 4352(d) and promulgated 23 Pa.C.S. § 4352(d.1), providing that certain support obligations shall constitute a judgment by operation of law against the support obligor, and lien by operation of law against all real and personal property owned by the obligor within the judicial district in which the arrears are recorded; and (2) Whereas existing Family Division records relating to support obligations contain confidential information which cannot be provided to third parties, it is necessary for the Family Division to implement procedures to verify to third parties the existence and amount of support obligations; and (3) Whereas 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4352(d.1)(6)(ii) provides for a maximum fee of $20.00 to be charged by the Family Division to provide written lien certifications,

   It is Hereby Ordered that the following administrative procedure is adopted in Philadelphia County to provide written certification of the balance of family support obligations:

   (1)  It is strongly recommended that the request for certification of support arrears be sent no later than fifteen (15) calendar days before the anticipated settlement date. Any person or entity seeking notice of the amount of support arrears owed by a named individual shall complete the information required in Parts A and B ''Request for Support Arrears Balance'' Form and forward the Form to:

      Clerk of Family Court
      Room B-16
      34 S. 11th Street
      Philadelphia, Pa. 19107

   (2)  The envelope containing the Form shall be clearly marked: ''Request for Support Arrears Balance (Lien/Judgment Certification),'' and accompanied by a $20.00 business check, cashier's check, certified check, or money order, made payable to ''Prothonotary,'' and a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The name and social security number of the individual for whom the information is requested shall be clearly indicated on the $20.00 payment.

   (3)  The funds generated by this charge shall be forwarded to the Prothonotary of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, according to existing procedures for other fees collected by the Clerk of Family Court. The funds generated by this Administrative Regulation shall be set aside by the Prothonotary and remitted monthly to the Domestic Relations Division Accounting Unit, which shall maintain, account for, and distribute the funds in accordance with federal regulations governing funds collected under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.

   (4)  A separate Form accompanied by a separate payment shall be used for each individual for whom information is requested.

   (5)  The Family Division shall complete Part C of the Form and return it to the requesting party in the stamped, self-addressed envelope within five (5) business days of its receipt by the Family Division, or the date of settlement, whichever is later. If the named individual has eligible support arrears on record in Philadelphia County, the Family Division shall enter the date and amount of arrears certification on the docket records of the affected support cases.

   (6)  A properly completed and certified Form containing the raised Seal of the Family Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia shall constitute either a certification by the Family Division of the ''Total Payoff Amount'' for the lien/judgment as of the settlement date provided, or that there are no eligible support arrears of record in Philadelphia County for the named individual.

   (7)  The certification of support arrears by the Family Division is only valid as to the combination of name and social security number provided by the requestor. The certification to be prepared by the Family Division will be based strictly on the information as provided by the requestor. If the information provided on the Form by the requestor for the named individual is incorrect, notwithstanding that a certification of support owed is processed by the Family Division based upon the incorrect information provided by the requestor, if that individual has eligible support arrears of record in Philadelphia County under a name and/or social security number that is different from that which was provided by the requestor, then the lien and judgment by operation of law shall remain in full force and effect as to the individual, and as to the individual's property.

   (8)  If there are no eligible support arrears of record with the Family Division, the Family Division will so indicate by checking the appropriate box in Part C of the Form.

   (9)  If the named individual for whom information is requested must personally appear at Family Court to resolve outstanding issues relating to a support case before the certification will be issued, the Family Division will so indicate by checking the appropriate box in Part C of the Form. Because of the confidential nature of the information contained in Family Court records, the Family Division will not convey to third parties the substance or nature of the outstanding issues that must be resolved before the support arrears will be certified.

   (10)  The ''Total Payoff Amount'' provided by the Family Court Division shall consist of the aggregate balance of all support arrears of record with the Family Court Division as of the ''date prepared'' that are eligible to be collected via enforcement of a lien or judgment. The balance provided may not reflect additional arrears that might be owed by the support obligor, but which are not collectible via enforcement of a lien or judgment at the time the certification is issued.

   (11)  Any funds withheld from the proceeds of a sale of real or personal property for the purpose of satisfying a judgment or lien arising from support arrears must be sent to the Pennsylvania State Collections and Disbursement Unit (''PA SCDU'') within fifteen (15) days of withholding. To satisfy the support arrears and remove the judgment or lien, the ''Total Payoff Amount'' must be received in the form of a business check, cashier's check, certified check, or money order made payable to ''PA SCDU,'' that clearly identifies the support obligor and the obligor's social security number, the obligor's PACSES member number, the case ID number(s) to which the payment is to be applied, and the amounts to be applied to each case.

   (12)  The payment shall be accompanied by a copy of the ''Request for Support Arrears Balance (Lien/Judgment Certification)'' form that was completed and certified by the Family Division, and upon which the payment is based, and mailed to: PA SCDU, P. O. Box 69110, Harrisburg, Pa. 17106-9110.

   (13)  The balance certified shall be effective only for the time periods prescribed by applicable law.

   (14)  Upon receipt and posting of the funds the account will be credited, and the Domestic Relations Division will, upon request, issue an Order of Court stating that the eligible support arrears of record with the Family Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, as of the date of settlement or transfer, have been paid in full, subordinated, or otherwise settled. If, under applicable law, the funds submitted exceed the amount that is collectible by that remedy, the excess payment shall be refunded directly to the support obligor.

   (15)  The support information provided by the Philadelphia Family Court Division shall under no circumstances constitute a confirmation of the support obligor's social security number.

Administrative Judge
Family Court Division


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 00-52. Filed for public inspection January 7, 2000, 9:00 a.m.]

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